Joint COMBAR - ACSRPC meeting

Anthelmintic resistance in ruminants: Who cares?


Joint meeting of the COMBAR Working Groups and the American consortium of Small Ruminant Parasite Control


August 27-29th, 2019


Het Pand, Onderbergen 1, 9000 Gent, Belgium

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© 2019, created by Kreavet

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27-29 August

Ghent, Belgium


Picture by Karlnorling, Flickr, CC BY 2.0



Cattle, sheep and goats are parasitised by various helminth species. These pathogens are important production-limiting diseases of grazing ruminants in Europe and are mainly controlled through grazing management and the strategic use of anthelmintics. Today, anthelmintic resistance (AR) has become a global threat for effective parasite control and rentable livestock farming. The COST Action COMBAR aims at coordinating research at the European level to find solutions for the AR problem. The action works in a structure of 3 working groups: (1) Diagnosis; (2) Socio-economic aspects and (3) Integrated control.

After 2 successful joint Working Group meetings in Warsaw and León in 2018, this year COMBAR lands in the historical centre of Ghent (Belgium) for a meeting with specialists from Europe, Near-Neighbour Countries and beyond to discuss their work and innovations for sustainable helminth control. The meeting will be organised in alignment with the EAAP (European Federation of Animal Production) meeting that takes place at the same time but on another location in Ghent and where a COMBAR special session is planned on 27th of August (tbc). Besides experts from Europe COMBAR includes many participants from the America’s. In addition, this year, the meeting will be held in collaboration with the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC), thus expecting many visitors from overseas.


With the central theme "AR in ruminants: Who cares?", we aim to investigate who are the different stakeholders involved and how we can promote sustainable management practices in ruminant parasite control.

The joint COMBAR-ACSRPC meeting 2019 will provide an exciting opportunity for scientists working on the topic to make new contacts, discuss the latest developments in AR research among each other and with industry stakeholders and to coordinate future research activities.

We hope you will attend and enjoy the joint COMBAR-ACSRPC meeting in Ghent!

Dr. Johannes Charlier


Prof. dr. Tom Terrill

Coordinator ACSRPC

COMBAR WG meeting, 26-27 Sept 2018, León

Confirmed Speakers



Economist of Animal health and Welfare


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Jarkko Niemi

Luke, Finland

Jarkko Niemi is a research professor at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). He has a PhD in production economics and farm management, holds a title of Docent in Agricultural Economics at the University of Helsinki and is a member of farm animal welfare council of Finland.  Prof. Niemi’s research focuses on economics of animal health and welfare. His fields of expertise include bio-economic modelling of animal production management, animal disease outbreaks and interventions to reduce different types of animal health disorders. He has worked in several national and international projects related to economics of animal health such as EU-funded PROHEALTH project and NEAT Erasmus network. Currently he is leading a project which aims at developing a labelling scheme for animal-friendly products. In addition, he has worked on a number of other topics such climate change adaptation of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Finland.


Eileen Devaney

Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK

Eileen Devaney has worked on the immunology and molecular biology of parasitic nematodes for many years. ED obtained her PhD from the School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, and was then awarded a Wellcome Trust Training Award, which she spent at EMBL, Heidelberg working in the Cell Biology division on mammalian cells. She obtained a Senior Fellowship from MRC, held mostly in Liverpool and then a Wellcome Trust University Award at the University of Glasgow. She has worked on a variety of parasites most notably the lymphatic filarial nematodes and, in recent years, gastro-intestinal nematodes of livestock. She is currently the PI on a multi-Institutional BBSRC Strategic LoLa dealing with the genetics of anthelmintic resistance in parasitic nematodes of livestock.


Professor of Parasite Immunobiology


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Agricultural Extension Worker

Deborah Maxwell

ParaBoss, Australia

Deb Maxwell is a veterinarian with post-graduate qualifications in agricultural extension. Deb has had a 26-year career in sheep extension including joining the first Sheep Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program as the Communication and Extension Program Leader and then further development of WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss in Sheep CRC II. In 2014 ParaBoss was formed to manage these programs beyond the CRC with Deb as ParaBoss Operations Manager, then Executive Officer. Deb has also run a superfine Merino sheep stud since 1996.

Ray Kaplan

University of Georgia, USA

Dr. Kaplan is a Professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his DVM from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and worked in a mixed-species practice before earning a PhD in Veterinary Parasitology at the University of Florida. Since 1998 he has been at UGA where he teaches and performs research and service in veterinary parasitology.  His research program is focused on measuring, understanding, and solving problems of drug resistance in helminth parasites.  Professor Kaplan is recipient of the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence and the AAVP-Boehringer Ingelheim Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist Award.


Professor of Veterinary Parasitology


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Global technical manager Ruminant Antiparasitics


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Gustavo Sabatini

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica

Gustavo Sabatini DVM, MSc, PhD, MBA is the Global Technical Manager for Ruminant Antiparasitics at Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH. Dr. Sabatini graduated as a veterinarian from Sao Paulo State University, where he quickly fell in love with the complexities of parasitology. He followed his passion with a master in cattle tick control at the same university, after which he successfully obtained a PhD on “Control and resistance of horn fly”. After his academic career, he joined the industry, where he took on several positions in R&D with companies like Fort Dodge, Pfizer and Merial.  Dr. Sabatini brings a deep level of expertise in product development with more than 10 years industry experience. With his MBA in business administration, he brings technical and marketing expertise to the Global Parasitic Franchise of Boehringer Ingelheim

Anne Zajac

Virginia Tech, USA

Dr. Anne Zajac is a faculty member at the Virginia/Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia USA.  She received MS and DVM degrees from Michigan State University and a PhD from Ohio State University.  Dr. Zajac teaches parasitology to veterinary, undergraduate and graduate students and supervises the parasitology diagnostic lab of the veterinary teaching hospital.  Her principal research interest is gastrointestinal parasites of grazing animals, especially small ruminants. Dr. Zajac is a member of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC).  She is a past president of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, and charter diplomate of the parasitology specialty in the American College of Veterinary Microbiology.


Veterinary Parasitologist


Human parasitology


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Bruno Levecke

Ghent University, Belgium

Bruno Levecke is a veterinarian and holds both a PhD degree in Veterinary Sciences and an additional MSc degree in Statistical Data Analysis of Ghent University. For more than ten years, he has been working on a variety of aspects of Soil-Transmitted Helminths, including but not limited to diagnosis and drug efficacy. Since 2009, he has been sharing responsibility for the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Monitoring Drug Efficacy against Soil-Transmitted Helminths. Currently, he is coordinating the Starworms project, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project that aims to develop and validate tools to strengthen monitoring and surveillance of drug efficacy and anthelmintic resistance in soil-transmitted control programs based on preventive chemotherapy.




Presentation guidelines:

Short oral presentations: 8 min

Poster size: 90 cm W x 120 cm L

Scientific committee: J. Charlier, S. Sotiraki, L. Rinaldi, G. von Samson-Himmelstjerna, E. Claerebout, D. Bartley, E. Morgan, H. Hoste, T. Terrill


Practical Information


It is a busy period in Ghent and early booking of accommodation is highly recommended. We have reserved rooms for you at following hotels:

Hotel Gravensteen*** (from € 135/ night)

Hotel De Flandre**** (from € 139 / night)

To apply for these rooms, complete the hotel booking form and send it to (reservation code COMBAR-GENT).


Other hotels including price ranges are available here.

How to get there?

There are direct intercity trains from Brussels airport to Ghent. Take the train to direction “Oostende” and hop off at “Gent-Sint-Pieters” or “Gent-Dampoort”. Train hours can be consulted here.

From Gent-Sint-Pieters it is about 30 min walk to the centre, but you can also take the tram (nr 1 or 2 from tram platform 2).  From Gent-Dampoort, it is about 20 min walk to the centre. Information on trams can be consulted here.

This video explains how to get to Ghent from Brussels airport:

(copyright: VisitGent)

Tourist information

The vibrant city of Ghent is more than worth a weekend trip. Ghent offers you a quirky, fascinating cultural cocktail brimming with rich history, culture and a trendy city vibe. Ghent is a chilled-out city where anything goes: a city break on a human scale. There are so many must-see attractions to visit on your holiday. You’ll be spoilt for choice in Ghent! Choose. Do.

Get a preview in this video:

(copyright: VisitGent)


The Venue

Het Pand, is Ghent University's congress centre offering state-of-the art meeting rooms in the middle of the historical centre of Ghent. 

Pre-conference workshop

"Speak with impact"

Follow an inspiring afternoon session to improve your presentation skills, given by a professional speaker with scientific background. This interactive workshop was given before to veterinary researchers in Belgium and received very positive feedbacks. It makes your research have an impact. Highly recommended to our Early Career Investigators as well as more experienced researchers. Watch the video below to learn what you may expect.

27 August, 2019; 13:00-16:30, Het Pand, Gent; Trainer: Ronald De Keersmaeker (Dixit International);

Still some places available, Please pass directly at the Venue to get your seat!


COMBAR presentations at EAAP 2019


The 70th annual meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science will take place from 26-30 August, expecting to host > 1200 animal scientists in Ghent. COMBAR will have a reach out session to disseminate our activities and work. COMBAR participants are invited to attend this session, but please note this will require a separate one-day registration for the EAAP conference.  

26 August, 2019; 14:00-17:00, Gent ICC (Van Rysselberghedreef 2, 9000 Gent)


Post-meeting farm tour

Sheep and goat farming is a small sector in Belgium. Sheep fulfill important roles in conservation, while dairy goat farming is expanding due to high demands for goat milk. During this tour we will visit 3-4 (mixed) sheep, goat and cattle farms with a vet, discover the peculiarities of each farm and learn how they survive and deal with parasite control.








30 August, 2019; Mini-bus leaves from Hotel De Flandre at 9:30 (back around 16:00), limited to 20 persons, 120 eur

Photo by Matthis Volquardsen @ Pexels


Grateful to our sponsors

Platinum sponsor




Local organisers

Dr. Johannes Charlier, Kreavet

Prof. dr. Edwin Claerebout, Ghent University

Prof. dr. Jozef Vercruysse, Ghent University